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A few years ago, when I wrote about Samasya Pooranam here, and here, I had no clue one day I could try these word games too. But over the last year, thanks to the wonderful lessons and posters on Padyapaana, I did make some effort in this direction. And I thought of presenting a few of those in this post.
Samasysa Pooranam refers to the art of completing a verse in a specified meter when one line of the verse is given. The given line in isolation may often border on being meaningless or ridiculous. It is up to you to solve the puzzle, and bring sense into the senseless line in an effective way.
The open nature of the problem can result scores of interesting solutions. Here are some of my recent trials at Samasya Poorana:
Question: “ರಾಮಗಾಗದ ಕಾರ್ಯ ಕಪಿಗಳಗುಂಪಿಗತಿ ಸುಲಭ ” - “The task easy for a bunch of monkeys is impossible for Rama”
This is the 3/6 line of a verse in written in Bhamini shatpadi meter. How can the almighty Rama be inferior to a bunch of monkeys? Oh Well, hold on. Didn’t a bunch of monkeys build the bridge across the ocean during Ramayana? True, but then how about solving the question a little differently?
ನೇಮದಲಿ ಹಂಬಲಿಸೆ ಸೀತೆಯು
ಕಾಮ ವೈರಿಯ ಮಡದಿ ಮಂಗಳ
ಧಾಮೆ ಗೌರಿಯ ಲಕ್ಷ ಪೂಜೆಗೆ ವಾನರರ ಸೈನ್ಯ
ರಾಮದಲಿ ಹೂಗಳನು ಬಿಡಿಸಿರೆ
ರಾಮಗಾಗದ ಕಾರ್ಯ ಕಪಿಗಳಗುಂಪಿಗತಿ ಸುಲಭ!
When Seeta wanted to perform the Laksha Pooje for Mangala Gouri, who else but the monkey army could climb up trees and bushes and pick all those flowers? Certainly Rama could not have done it so fast. Right?
Since we’re on the topic of Ramayana, here is a related samasya poorana – this one in mattebhavikreedita meter:
ಪತಿಗಳ್ ಸೀತೆಗದೆಷ್ಟು ಮಂದಿ ಗಣಿಸಲ್ಕೇನೊರ್ವರೇ? ಇರ್ವರೇ?
Sounds on the border of being offensive – Right? This kind of talk definitely not befit Seeta, who is considered the epitome of virtue!
I had to send Seeta to her Physics classroom to solve this
ಹಿತದೊಳ್ ತೋರ್ಪೆನು ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರಪಾಠಗಳ ನಾಂ ನೀ ಬೇಗಬಾರೆಂದೆನ-
ಲ್ಕತಿಸಂತೋಷದಿ ಬಂದ ಸೀತೆ ಮುದದೊಳ್ ಕಣ್ಣಲ್ಲೆ ಕಣ್ಣಾಗಿ ಜಾ-
ಗೃತಿಯಿಂ ಪಟ್ಟಕಮಂ ತಳೆರ್ದಿರೆ ಮೊದಲ್ ಬಾನಲ್ಲಿ ಕಂಡರ್ ದಿವ-
ಸ್ಪತಿಗಳ್ ಸೀತೆಗದೆಷ್ಟು ಮಂದಿ! ಗಣಿಸಲ್ಕೇನೊರ್ವರೇಯಿರ್ವರೇ ?
What did Seeta see in her Physics class when she turned the kaleidoscope towards the sky? A hundred (or more) Suns! Definitely qualifies for the adjective “uncountable”!
(ಪಟ್ಟಕ = prism, but used here to mean a kaleidoscope ದಿವಸ್ಪತಿ = literally, the “lord of the day”, or the Sun)
OK, now let me move from Ramayana to Bharata, that is to India, more specifically today’s India. One of the samasya poorana lines given during the Shatavadhana in Dec 2012 was “ಭಾರತದಿ ದುಶ್ಯಾಸನನೆ ದ್ರೌಪದಿಯ ಸಖನಲ್ತೆ!” – “Truly, Dushyasana is a friend of Draupadi”.
Here is my solution, which unfortunately, is based on what happened in Delhi during Dec 2012:
ಲಾರು ಕೇಡಿಗ ದುರುಳರು ಬಲಾ-
ತ್ಕಾರಗೈದಿರೆ ಗೈದಿರೆ ಯಾರು ಕಾಯ್ದರು ರಾಜಧಾನಿಯಲಿ ?
ಭಾರತದಿ ದುಶ್ಯಾಸನನೆ ದ್ರೌಪದಿಯ ಸಖನಲ್ತೆ !
In one of my earlier posts on this subject here, I’d sort of mixed up two distinctly different puzzlers: Dattapadi and Samasya poorana. Let me not dwell into that, but suffice it to say that while Samasya Poorana refers to completing a verse when one of the lines is given, Dattapadi refers to composing a verse that includes set of given words are given, on a specified topic – Not unexpectedly, often the words totally unrelated to the topic are given.
Here is one such example - How would an experienced politician advice an upcoming politician to take the right ways to success ? Since this is the internet era, the solution must contain the words: e-mail, chat, phone and gram!
Here are two different solutions I came up with in the Bhamini shatpadi meter:
ಗ್ರಾಮ ಪಂಚಾಯ್ತಿಯಲಿ ಕಾಲಿ-
ಟ್ಟಾಮೆಯಂತೆಯೆ ಬೆಳೆಸು ಚರ್ಮವ!
ಸಾಮದಲ್ಲಿಯೆ ಗಳಿಸಿ ಫೋನಲಿ ಸೋನಿಯಳ ಕೃಪೆಯ!
ರಾಮನೇ ನೀ? ಬೇಡ ಸೇವೆಯ ಗೀಳು! ಹುಚ್ಚಾಟ!
ರಾಮರಾಜ್ಯದ ನೆಪದಿ ನೀಕು-
ಗ್ರಾಮದಲೆ ಮುಂದಾಳುವಾಗು! ನೋಡೈ
ನಾಮಹಾಕುತ ಜನಕೆ ಮಾಡುತಲಷ್ಟು ಕಿರುಚಾಟ!
ನೇಮವಿಡೆ ಮೇಲ್ನವರ ಫೋನಾ-
ರಾಮದಲ್ಲೇ ಹುದ್ದೆ ತರುವುದು!
ಗೇಮೆಯಲ್ಲೇ ಮೇಲಕೇರ್ವುದು ದಿಟದಿ ಬಲುಕಷ್ಟ!
And now, how about describing an outdated mode of transportation – such as a bird using some modern vehicles? The question here is to describe the well known story of Gajendra Moksha, using the words “Cycle”, “Van”,”Lorry” and “Car”.
Here is my attempt at answering the question in a pancha mAtrA choupadi – a traditional 4 lined meter:
ಅಸುವು ಹೋಗುತಲಿಹವು ವ್ಯಾನಾದಿ ಪಂಚಕವು
ತುಸು ನೀನು ಕರುಣಿಸೈ ಕಲ್ಲಾಗಿಸದೆ ಮನವ
ಎಸೆವ ಕಾರ್ಮುಗಿಲಿಂದ ಗರುಡವಾಹನ ಬಂದ!
Here is another small variation of the same question to describe Gajendra Moksha episode, using the words “Auto”, “Rickshaw”, “Volvo” and “Lorry”.
ಅಸುವ ಕಾಯೆಂಬ ಮೊರೆಗೆಲ್ಲಾರಿಗೂ ಮೊದಲು
ನಸುನಗುತ ಹರಿಯಂತರಿಕ್ಷದಲೆ ಪೊರೆದ!
But to really enjoy Samasya Poorna, Dattapadi and many more interesting poetic puzzles in Kannada, I must urge you to visit Padyapaana, a great resource of fun in learning prosody. I’m sure you’ll definitely be astounded by the variety of answers to each such puzzle on Padyapaana. I strongly encourage you to go and checkout a few posts here.
(Picture courtesy: Wikipedia; Gajendra Moksha sculpture on the walls of Dashaavataara temple, Deoghar)
Yugaadi marks the beginning of the traditional lunar new year celebrated in several states of India such as Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Literally, Yugaadi means Adi – “the beginning of” and yuga – “an era”. As per current understanding, a yuga is a measure of time, associated the term with long periods – as in Krta, Treta, Dwapara & Kali yugas, each spanning thousands of years.
However, if we go back in time for about thirty five centuries, we find Indians had a very different interpretation of the term yuga. Vedanga Jyothisha compiled by Laagadha around ~1400BC very clearly defines a yuga as a period of five years. The very opening verse of Vedanga Jyotisha has the following verse:
pa~ncha saMvatsaramayam yughAdhyakSham prajApatim |
dinartvayana mAsAngaM praNamya shirasA shuchih ||
which approximately translated to the following:
“I bow to thee, Oh Prajapati, one who has the day, season and the half-year as limbs, the over-seer of the five-year long yuga”
Vedanga Jyotisha also tells us when the five-year yuga began based on the alignment of the Sun, Moon and stars (specifically both meeting at the star Shravishta) in the sky. Also, according to the text, five years of a yuga were called samvatsara, parivatsara, idaavatsara, anuvatsara and idvatsara. Incidentally, this beginning of a new yuga took place at winter solstice, and not at (or close to) Vernal equinox as the current yugaadi is.
Things change over time. Now, we call every year a samvatsara, and the five-year long yuga is almost unknown to most people! If you are more interested on this topic, I suggest you to read this paper by B.N.Narahari Achar is a good resource.
Wishing a very happy Yugaadi to all visitors at ಅಲ್ಲಿದೆ ನಮ್ಮ ಮನೆ!
Why am I making this post? No good reason, except that I clicked some pictures in my (ever so ancient) cell phone while going to a dentist appointment.
Is there anything interesting about Fremont, CA? Well, it is one of bay area cities with a high percentage of people of Indian origin. Out of about 200,000 residents, approximately 20,000 are of Indian origin.
Also, Fremont might be the one of the very few (if not the only one) cities in the USA where a Kannada speaking person is an elected member of the city council!
Getting to witness one total solar eclipse in a lifetime is a blessing. Getting to see a total solar eclipse, followed by an annular solar eclipse six months later (without much of a hassle) is what I call a true double blessing. And that’s what some people in India are getting this year.
In July 2009, the path of totality passed through central and north India. Even though it was monsoon time, and the totality occurred almost at sunrise, many lucky ones got a good glimpse of totality from places like Kashi and Sasaram. Now, on January 15th, the annular eclipse path is going through the southern tip of India. January being one of the best months for sky watching in south India, and the fact that the eclipse occurs during mid day, I hope, will make it another Great Indian Eclipse!
Why is the Sun not getting covered completely by the Moon, even though it is passing directly in front of the Sun? The answer is simple: the Earth is near the point where it is closest to the Sun, making it look larger (comparatively) than the Moon. So, instead of a total eclipse, we have an annular eclipse where a ring of the Sun is seen around the black shadow of the moon at the maximum eclipse.
On a side note: In India, it is considered to be auspicious to visit a holy place (generally with a river, ocean, lake etc) during an eclipse and take a dip in water after the eclipse is over. The last total eclipse passing through Kashi* gave those religiously minded people to visit Kashi for the eclipse for a dip in the holy river Ganga, and this annular eclipse gives them a reason to go to Rameshwaram* and take a dip in the ocean! Both Kashi and Rameshwaram are very ancient cities with a long history, both have shrines of Shiva (Jyothirlinga)and a pilgrimage to Kashi is not supposed to be complete unless a devote visits Rameshwaram!
There is this old joke saying that when Neil Armstrong landed on the Moon in 1969, he was greeted by a malayali teashop owner holding a cup of tea for him. Those tea-stalls are an all-India phenomenon. Similarly, another universal phenomenon is that of Udupi hotels. It is hard to find a town without a Udupi hotel, particularly so in south India. But why did the folks from Udupi became famed for their restaurants? I can only contemplate. May be because Udupi is the town which Krishna calls his home! We all know how much Krishna loves food be it as fat-full as butter or as fat-free as avalakki (Remember Sudaama?) Anyway, whatever be the reason, Udupi hotels have become very popular in several states outside of Karnataka, particularly so in states such as Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
Not only Udupi hotels have become very commonplace in Tamil Nadu, but they have also caught on a new meaning. They are used as a synonym to saying ‘vegetarian’. So if you see a board such as “Saravana Bhavan (udupi)”, it means it is a vegetarian restaurant, irrespective of whether the proprietor is from Andhra or Assam!
Outside India, hoteliers have marketed this Udupi name quite effectively to their advantage. There are many a restuarants called ‘Udupi -something’ or ‘Udupi-something-else’all the way from Washinton DC in the eastern coast to Seattle in the state of Washington on the west coast. I do not know how many of these are run by folks from Udupi. But one thing is certain. All these places are Udupi, just in name – not necessarily in taste. If you order a dOse, you will get a dOse which looks very authentic, but the reality literally seeps in as soon as you take a byte!
Oh, let me stop with this Udupi puraana, and think of Tirupati Timmappa! In here, there is a idli-dOse restaurant called ‘Tirupati Bheema’s’. We know Bheema for his abilities in the kitchen, but what in the world is Tirupati doing with Bheema and his kitchen? Till I came across this composition of Purandara Dasa, I was not aware of the relation between Tirupati and the restaurant industry.
Here is that song – I have given it in dEvanAgari script:
धणिय नोडिदॆना वॆंकटन मनदणिये नोडिदॆना! ॥पल्लवि॥
धणिय नोडिदॆ शिखामणि तिरुमलना! ॥अनुपल्लवि॥
केसक्कि अन्न उंबुवना बड्डि
कासु बिडदे हॊन्न गळिसुवना!
दोसॆ अन्नव मारिसुवना तन्न
दासर म्याळदि कुणिदाडुतिहना! ॥1॥
बॆट्टदॊळगॆ इरुतिहन मन
मुट्टि भजिपरिगिष्टव सल्लिसुवना!
कॊट्ट वरव तप्पदवन
सृष्टिगधिक श्री पुरंदर विठलन! ॥2॥
Here is the meaning of the song:
pallavi: I saw him! Venkata, the Lord of Tirumala, My master!
anupallavi: I saw my Lord, the jewel in the crown to my heart’s content!
charaNa 1: (I saw him) who relishes ‘kEsakki’ (a variety of rice?) , who earns money with interest, who gets dOse, and other food items sold, and who participates joyously with the dancing haridAsas
charaNa 2: ( I saw him) who resides in the hill, and him who gives whatever wished for to those who are his true believers, him who stays true to his word, Purandara Vithala, who is the greatest in this creation
Because this song mentions Tirumala on the hills as the home of Purandara Vithala, we can be very certain that this was written about the deity at Tirupati. Don’t we all know the story of Srinivas Kalyana, that tells us that Tirupati Timmappa is still earning money to repay the interest for the loan he took from Kubera for his wedding.
The key phrase here is ‘dOse annava mArisuvana’; the Lord of Tirumala is credited to having had places where eatables like dOse, and rice were sold. This tells that there were restaurants in Tirupati almost 500 years ago ( Purandara’s time frame) where travelers could buy food. Of course, we know about dharma shaales that provided food and water to the travelers free, but this reference is not to such establishments. These are actually places that made selling food a businesses.
It is not for nothing that it is said that literature is a mirror of the society. But shh….! Don’t tell anyone. Because, now places such as Udupi Hotels, and Bengalooru ayyangar bakeries exist at least namesake. Otherwise, they might start thinking of changing their name to Tirupati!
image courtesy: Google images
(Translated from a Kannada article I had written a while ago. You can read the original article here: ತಿರುಪತಿ ತಿಮ್ಮಪ್ಪನೂ ಉಡುಪಿಯ ಹೋಟೆಲೂ …